Detecting Invasive Species in the Field: Portable eDNA Screening Tool
The USGS field tested the use of a portable hand-held kit for the detection of the environmental DNA (eDNA) of Asian carps (bighead carp and silver carp) in water samples as part of on-going invasive species detection research. The goals of the USGS-led research are to develop a method and kit that can be used on-site to detect Asian carp eDNA within one hour. Developing portable, rapid and reliable methods and kits such as the one evaluated here will improve the detection of invasive species and pathogens and will improve the ability of resource managers to make timely decisions to prevent, contain, and control invasive species and pathogens. Future efforts will continue the evaluation of the method and kit under field conditions, including fish shipments that might contain invasive carps, and developing procedures and information needed to allow conservation officers and law enforcement agencies to use the kit to prevent illegal transport of Asian carps and other species. Funding for this research was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.